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winter-traffic-natick-december-5-2016MassDOT is reminding the public to plan ahead for expected winter weather Tuesday evening into Wednesday which could bring several inches of snowfall to areas across Massachusetts.

“The weather forecast calls for snow to begin falling by the overnight hours, meaning that the Wednesday morning commute will be impacted and drivers may face difficult travel conditions,” said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “We encourage members of the public to make informed decisions on whether or not they need to travel, take public transit, consider delaying their plans on Wednesday, and exercise safe driving behavior if they are heading out onto the roadways. Drivers should reduce speeds, give space to other motorists and snow plows, and devote their full attention to the roadway ahead of them.”

MassDOT’s snow and ice operations will be deployed as conditions necessitate. Crews are currently conducting preparation activities in advance of the winter weather including pretreating roadways with brine and Magnesium Chloride. MassDOT is also currently planning deployments of snowplows and spreaders and maintenance equipment.

MassDOT’s Highway Division is able to utilize up to 700 personnel to perform snow and ice removal operations on more than 15,000 lanes miles of roadway throughout the Commonwealth. This snow and ice season, MassDOT will have approximately 4,200 pieces of state and vendor equipment available using over 150 depots and storage locations. This includes over 1,300 plow and spreader combos, 2,100 plows, and 460 front-end loaders.

If drivers must go out on the roadways, they are advised to drive the conditions, lower their speeds, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, and remember MassDOT’s message, “Don’t Crowd the Plow,” meaning that motorists should stay behind snow removal equipment on the roadways. MassDOT strongly urges drivers to always wear seatbelts, minimize distractions, turn off or put away cell-phones and devote full attention to what is ahead on the road.

For updates on road and traffic conditions in Massachusetts, drivers can:

  • Dial 511 before heading out onto the roadways and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, access to traffic cameras, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Other important winter driving tips include:

  • Clear snow and ice from all motor vehicle windows, lights, tailpipe area, hood and roof before driving.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Remember that the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approach road.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
  • Seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
  • Most importantly please remember to slow down.

Please review more information on safe winter driving.

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